UNRESTRICTED | ILLIMITÉ
FYI. This "study" finds the opposite result of every other study conducted on this topic in Canada and most places around the world. The story also doesn't include comment from the CNSC or Health Canada. Very suspicious.
Nuke plants hike cancer risk: report
By Jeremy Warren, The StarPhoenixJune 23, 2009 8:53 AM
People who work in or live near a nuclear power plant face a higher risk of cancer due to radiation exposure, says a research paper released today.
The 30-page Exposure to Radiation and Health Outcomes, commissioned by the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, found nuclear power employees are more likely than the general population to develop cancer or die from it.
Chronic exposure to low doses of radiation causes the higher risk, said the report, written by researcher Mark Lemstra.
A 15-country, 12-year study of nuclear power workers found the employees are twice as likely to die from all causes of cancer than the general public because of the extra radiation exposure.
But in Canada, one of the 15 countries studied, reactor workers were 7.65 times more likely to die from all causes of cancer compared to non-employees, said the report.
Researchers are unclear about the cause of the dramatic rise compared to other countries, said Lemstra.
"We don't know why Canadians are more likely to get cancer than others," he said. "We are going to have to consider revising the protection standards of nuclear workers."
A different Canada-only study still concluded nuclear power workers are 3.8 times more likely to die from radiation-related cancer than non-workers, said the report.
"The results . . . confirm that chronic exposure to low doses of radiation are associated with an excess relative risk of cancer mortality," it said.
The report was presented to a Uranium Development Partnership stakeholder meeting in Regina. UDP, a government appointed board, has recommended Saskatchewan build a 3,000-megawatt nuclear reactor.
Lemstra cited 22 articles in his report, pared down from a review of more than 1,700 articles he found in medical databases, reference lists and on the Internet.
He also contacted 3,042 Saskatchewan nurses through e-mail to gather their views on nuclear energy and health concerns.
Of the 822 replies, 61.8 per cent of nurses do not support the development of a nuclear power facility while 9.49 per cent gave their support. Almost 30 per cent conditionally support a reactor project if health concerns are addressed.
Almost 90 per cent of respondents have concerns about the health implications of a reactor. Ten per cent are not concerned.
The report found outside the nuclear workplace, radiation has effects on the human population.
A German study cited in the report found children under the age of five who live within five kilometres of a nuclear facility are 2.19 times more likely to develop leukemia.
"There's a simple solution: Keep children more than 10 kilometres away from a nuclear facility," said Lemstra.
Children are more susceptible to radiation because in the early stages of development, their bodies are more sensitive to the effects of inhalation, ingestion and other forms of internal exposure, said the report.
"The association between leukemia incidence and mortality from radiation exposure is very strong. The greatest risks are found for youth under the age of 20," said the report.
Health effects of nuclear power go beyond radiation. Consistent cost overruns of constructing a nuclear reactor can siphon off government money that could be spent elsewhere, the report says.
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